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We All Have One

We are making history, except it's not his-story. It's Mom-Story. And every mom has a story. 

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Each MomStory on this site is authentic. These women are real moms who were willing to put their story out there in hopes of it helping another mom on their journey. And we say "cheers" to that!

One Size Does Not Fit All

We realize that most moms are just doing their best to get through whatever phase of mothering they're in. We also realize that everyone's "best" looks different - and we celebrate that! 

MomStory #42

Meet Whitney

 Where’s your nest?

Eagle Mountain, UT

How many peeps live in your nest?

5


What is your biggest obstacle as a mother?

Anxiety has always been a part of my life, but never a huge obstacle, until I had children. I have such anxiety over childhood illnesses and injuries that it prevents me from being a fun, carefree mom. I wish that it wasn’t such a struggle for me to just get out of the house and enjoy museums, the park, and even the grocery store.

What is your greatest triumph as a mother?

I don’t know if I can even count this as a triumph, because I honestly don’t feel like I had anything to do with it, but I have  of the best kids around. I really do have good kids. They are kind, thoughtful, obedient (for the most part), respectful, and helpful. I’m pretty lucky!

What is something you do to hang on to who you are as a person?

I’ve always struggled with this question because I have always wanted to be a mother and never really thought that I needed to hang on to anything because who I am, and always wanted to be was Mom. I have recently been reminded that having my own interests can make a huge difference in my emotional state. I’ve developed a love of baking, specifically baking for other people. Don’t get me wrong I sure love to eat what I bake, but I find real joy in baking for others. Being in a developing neighborhood, we have had lots of opportunity to take treats to new neighbors. It has become sort of a stress relief for myself.

What is something you wish you did better as a mother?

I wish I was less of a perfectionist. I think that compulsively cleaning is a way for me to escape my anxiety and get out of my head. I wish that I was more available to my children for playtime and that I said “yes” more to messy activities.

What has been a defining moment in motherhood for you?

Whenever my kids are playing together. They have their moments of sibling rivalry, but for the most part they are best friends. When my 2 year old naps and my daughter tells me “I’m bored without my buddy.” it just warms my mama heart. Seeing them develop their relationship makes everything worth it.


What has surprised you the most about motherhood?

I’m really surprised by my lack of patience and how quick I am to anger. I never knew these emotions in myself before having children. I am also surprised that I could love someone so much that it overwhelms me to tears.

What is something that has surprised you about adding a third baby?
The thing that has surprised me most is how easy the transition has been. Everyone told me that the third was their hardest and I was honestly so nervous about it. In my opinion the hardest transition depends on the baby. My hardest transition was my first. She had colic and reflux and had to be held constantly with no relief. This sweet third baby is so good I sometimes forget she is there. I just wish this newborn stage wasn't so fleeting, it seems to be shorter with each baby

What did your kids eat for dinner last night?

Sloppy Joes, tater tots, and green beans. This is one meal they will actually eat!

Who is your mother mentor?

Obviously my mom, who I talk to almost daily, but I also have many mother mentors who are in the thick of motherhood right now, dealing with my same problems specifically two of my sisters-in-law who I’m constantly texting throughout the day.
 

MomStory #41

Meet Coutney

Where’s your nest?

We’re raising up Texans in Spring, TX


How many peeps live in your nest?

We have 3 girls and 2 boys


What is your biggest obstacle as a mother?

I am very grateful to have 5 healthy children, but we have had a few medical issues along the way.  Wanting the best for your child and seeing them sick and struggling is HARD.  My daughter has a rare genetic abnormality which brings with it occasional seizures and learning delays.  Going through the initial testing, hospital stays, and new medicines was difficult.  There were so many questions and heartache from seeing my daughter in pain.  But as a mom you have to stand strong for your child.  So I did.  I researched, asked questions, and spoke up for my daughter.  To this day I struggle with having to watch her battle with these medical issues.  It is especially hard for me to see her falling behind in school and to see her feeling down on herself because things don’t come easy for her.  But, I’m there for her.  I remind her how smart, kind, beautiful, and special I think she is, and we get to work.    


What is your greatest triumph as a mother?
What is something you do to hang on to who you are as a person? I love developing my hobbies.  For several years, all I did in my spare time was photography.  I read up about it, practiced, even started a little business.  But after several years I got a little bored with it.  So I moved on.  Just because you love something for a little while, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever.  Try something new and go for it!  I’m now more interested in home design and I love reading up about design techniques and ideas.  We’re currently building our ‘dream house’ and it’s been a lot of fun to learn about the whole building and designing process.  My mom was always trying new things and keeping herself busy with different hobbies, so I guess I learned from the best.  I find that when I have something I’m passionate about I feel more fulfilled and motivated in other areas of my life.  


What is something you wish you did better as a mother?

Prioritizing my time and responsibilities better.  I’m a procrastinator.  I always put off what I don’t want to do.  Hence the laundry is always the last chore to get done!  But sometimes I feel I work best under a tight deadline… except I’m very mean when I’m stressed.  So as a reminder to myself: Procrastination = mean Courtney.


What has been a defining moment in motherhood for you?

Bringing home new babies is one of my most cherished memories as a mom.  Those first couple weeks are a chaotic bliss.  Although I was always in some pain and sleep deprived I had so much peace and joy in my heart.  A memory that still brings a smile to my face.    


What has surprised you the most about motherhood?

That no one knows what they’re doing!  As a kid, I thought adults knew everything, but as an adult I know that I know nothing!  Even after 5 kids I’m still figuring it out because each kid and each day brings new challenges and adventures.  You just learn as you go and fortunately kids are very forgiving!


What did your kids eat for dinner last night?

My favorite meal: leftovers served on paper plates. 


Who is your mother mentor?

I have so many.  I don’t know a bad mother.  The common trait I see is caring.  A caring mom makes a great mom.  My mother raised eleven kids. Yes, that’s right, ELEVEN!  I don’t know how she had enough energy to wake up every day, but she did.  My mom used to always say, “Some things matter, most things don’t”.  As much as I hated it when she said it back in the day, I find myself muttering it to myself all the time.  It’s so true.  My children won’t remember the ‘processed’ snacks I shoved in their lunch box or our messy bathrooms (at least I hope not!), but the lasting relationship that comes from years of listening, encouraging, and caring is what they’ll have for years to come and that is what matters.  I’m thankful my mother taught me that.  To this day my mom is my #1 fan.  Anything that I do, say, create is AMAZING in her eyes and she lets me know it.  I leave every conversation with my mom feeling like I am so smart, witty, kind, and obviously her favorite child.  That is, until I talk to my sister and realize that’s just how she treats all of her kids! She’s the best.       
 

MomStory #40

Meet Kristyn

Where’s your nest?

My nest for the past 18 years has been Williamsburg, VA


How many peeps live in your nest?

At one point our nest had 7 but we are down to 3


What is your biggest obstacle as a mother?

My biggest challenge has always been how to reconcile my desire to make a difference in the world on a grand scale and my desire to intimately impact the people under my own roof. Being a mother lacks fortune, fame, and feedback (most likely your kids won’t truly appreciate you until they leave home). To put aside the recognition I could get doing other things, and giving myself to my family and faith has been a sacrifice and a blessing.

 

What is your greatest triumph as a mother?

I don’t have a single event or accomplishment that sums up or symbolizes my triumph as a mom. However, I feel tremendous gratitude for a God that trusted me enough to send me 5 amazing kids. Perhaps my greatest triumph is that I don’t give up. Mothering has gotten harder over the years, not easier for me. There are days, weeks, and even months that I have wondered how I could keep on smiling, working, and soldiering on when the road ahead seems difficult and the tasks at hand seem ridiculously hard. But the only way through is through.


What is something you do to hang on to who you are as a person?

Running keeps me sane. I love the time alone to think through all the things that matter to me. I talk to God a lot and He helps me remember daily who I am. I also connect with people. By investing in relationships, I am given the chance to discover who I am through the eyes of others.


What is something you wish you did better as a mother?

I want to be still and really, truly, empathetically, listen. I just started doing this and it is a game changer. As mothers, we often have many things going on at the same time and although people think that women are great at multi-tasking, research shows that no one, not even Wonder Woman, can really do more than one thing at a time very well. If you want to hear what your kids are saying (verbal and non-verbal) you need to stop, drop, and open all your senses to the person in front of you.


What did your kids eat for dinner last night?

We made calzones which is a family favorite. Trader Joes does the dough and we fill them with whatever is in the fridge. So delicious and everyone can build their own so there is much less complaining!


Who is your mother mentor?

My own mom is a super hero. Her dad died when she was young and her mom had to go back to work so she never got a childhood in the traditional sense. She raised her younger sister and was a homemaker at the age of 11. She works harder than anyone I know. In addition, I have four amazing sisters, seven remarkable sister-in- laws, a gracious mother-in- law, and dozens of incredible friends who have all taught me how to mother. Their stories, examples, and faith are inspiring.

MomStory #39

Meet Paige

Where’s your nest?

Rexburg, Idaho     


How many peeps live in your nest?

My husband Dave, myself, and M- 19 month old   

  

What is your biggest obstacle as a mother?

My biggest obstacle thus far is bringing babies into this world. We have had years of infertility treatments that involved 2 laparoscopies, clomid, 9 IUIs, 2 rounds of IVF, which finally resulted in our beautiful baby boy Mckay. We are now trying for baby #2 with a year of infertility treatments with a laparoscopy, 3 IUIs, and an IVF transfer that ended in a miscarriage. A lot of time, needles, and prayers to get our family here on earth, but we aren’t giving up! We are determined and know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us. It may not come in the way we plan, or hope for, but that is what has made us stronger as a family.      


What is your greatest triumph as a mother? 

Getting pregnant! I cannot tell you how excited I was to get passed that 13 week mark with M. Knowing I could get pregnant at least once was a huge victory for me. One pregnancy meant that my body could actually do what it was made for. We just had to rely on our Heavenly Father & modern medicine.

      

What is something you do to hang on to who you are as a person?  

With this recent miscarriage, I really had a hard time. I was needing something to keep my mind off of infertility and keep me busy (like a toddler isn’t enough haha). But I have always been crafty and creative. So I decided to start my own business. Finch & Grain Leather Earrings. It has been such a blessing thus far. I have LOVED it! I love the ladies that look at the earrings and just fall in love with them. I am also a cosmetologist and have my degree in Healthcare Administration, so making people feel good and beautiful has always been what I push for. It has allowed me to be a stay at home mom, and helped financially with our IVF. I also love to camp, hunt, and do anything with my family.      


What is something you wish you did better as a mother?

I wish I was better at having my child on a routine. I am awful at a bedtime routine because at the beginning it just didn’t work. And I definitely need to cook more. 


What has been a defining moment in motherhood for you?

A defining moment for me was when I got pregnant. I knew that I wanted to be the best example to my children, and to do so in my eyes was to finish my bachelor's degree. It was hard, but worth it. I finished when I was 37 weeks pregnant. Life throws you curve balls and we always need to be prepared for those obstacles. I always want my children to know how much I love them not only through my hugs and kisses, but also in my example in working hard to do everything I can for them.    


What has surprised you the most about motherhood?

How much you love you have for such a tiny human. I have so much love for M I could burst!   


What did your kids eat for dinner last night?

Banana waffles with buttermilk syrup.      


Who is your mother mentor?

My own mother. My mother and I have always been very close and I consider her one of my closest friends. She has always been there for me and has been an amazing mother throughout my life. I also adore my sisters and sister in-law. I look up to them mostly because of their parenting. They are amazing mothers.   

MomStory #38

Meet Cammi

Cammi remembers January 25, 2017 with crystal clarity. That day her doctors diagnosed her with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma or breast cancer, confirming her worst fears she had harbored since first discovering a lump just 10 days prior. Upon finding the lump, she made an appointment with her OBGYN, who then referred her to Ultrasound. The radiologist couldn't tell what the lump was and offered to wait 6 months or to have a biopsy completed. Cammi opted for the biopsy and within 2 days was given the news.    


My life, my story, the next chaper involves a diagnosis I never imagined I would face. From finding the lump, to exams, an ultrasound, a biopsy to the final diagnosis... breast cancer. The surreal feeling that at my age this shouldn't be happening. This becomes my story and changed my perspective on what truly matters. Breast cancer doesn't define me. This is merely my next step in this journey of life. I have love and life within me.   


Within a week I started chemo, undergoing 6 treatments every 3 weeks. From the first chemo treatment to the last, the support has been unreal. Friends dancing on Instagram for Go Fund Me donations to pony rides and water bottles with "Fight For Cammi" on them.    


On February 18th, 2017 - one of the hardest days was shaving my head. I knew it had to be done, and involved my children; each cutting a lock or two from my head.    


Helping me through my difficult first states was the love and support of my family, my husband Andy and my children, Boston, Taft, Grace and Hugh. Andy and I didn't keep anything from our children, and that was the best thing we could have done - to invite our kids into this journey. We've cried together, we've shared our fears and we laugh together. It has brought us all closer.   


After completing chemo, my genetic testing came back showing that I am positive for higher risks of breast, ovarian, pancreatic and skin cancer. At this point, it was decided to move forward with a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (or double mastectomy). This involves removing all of the breast tissue and manipulating the chest muscles to hold an implant. My surgery was on July 17th, with another surgery schedule on August 21st due to sections of the tissue that did not receive enough blood flow and the tissue died. 


Cancer can happen to you or for you. I was given an opportunity to learn from this - learn things I never knew, meet people I never would have, and find strength I never thought I would possess. I have a renwed appreciation for what is important in life.   


My mantra became #itsgonnabeokay - from The Piano Guys. Every day is a challenge, with new medications, check ups and set backs. The truth of the matter is cancer sucks, and the recovery sucks too! I take one day at a time and give thanks to have one more day with those who matter the most.   


You can support Cammi on her road to recovery at Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/fight-for-cammi  

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